Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock medal

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock medal

Faculty of Humanities

Alison Innes
MA Classics

Alison Innes recieved her master’s of arts degree in Classics.

She is a creative and innovative thinker who has reached into the past to explore ancient Greek attitudes towards female healers. And with her deep commitment to this area of study Alison has reached out to share her knowledge with research communities here at Brock and in other parts of the world.

Alison’s conference and workshop presentations have captured the interest of scholars around the world. They regard her work as contributing to a larger discussion about how female stereotypes may restrict the role of women within society and about the importance of female agency in vibrant societies.

Alison balanced a demanding research program with her greater involvement in the graduate student community, namely her work as a Teaching Assistant and her tireless commitment in serving for two years, including as Vice President Communications, on the Graduate Students’ Association.

And she has managed to do all of this while dealing with a disability that limits her energy from day to day.

“My experiences challenged me, stretched me and forced me to grow as a person,” says Alison. She adds: “What we invest in the graduate student experience determines what we get out of it as individuals. And while we may never see the end result of our investments, I believe that we can be confident that they do make a difference in our own lives and the lives of others.”

Highlighting her contributions in the classroom, Professor Roberto Nickel says Alison showed a remarkable ability to mentor her own undergraduate students, as well as new TA colleagues, who looked to her for advice and guidance. Her pedagogical innovation and leadership in the classroom was recognized in 2011 with the Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.

Alison had a very rewarding experience serving on the GSA, first as a program representative for the Classics department and then taking on greater responsibilities as Vice-President Communications. Her many accomplishments include:

• advocating on behalf of graduate students with disabilities. In doing so, she helped to steer the GSA toward establishing an Equity and Advocacy Committee to help meet students’ need.

• raising awareness of the mounting concerns about mental health issues within the graduate student community. Alison opened the conversation by courageously telling her own story of suffering from depression in an article published in Brock’s student newspaper in February 2011. Later that year she organized a highly successful workshop about mental health issues that was held as part of the annual Mapping the New Knowledges graduate student research conference.

• initiating new GSA events, specifically the very successful Coffee Connection. These drop in events provided a chance for students to share experiences and offer support for the more challenging phases of graduate studies. Alison also made sure all graduate students could participate in Coffee Connection events by holding them at other Brock campuses.

Alison’s hope in all of her time at Brock was to make the graduate community stronger. As she says, “ it is when we come together, supporting each other and carrying each other along, that we are able to carve out a path for ourselves, as individuals and as a community.”


Alison Innes, recipient of the graduate student Spirit of Brock medal for the Fa

Alison Innes, recipient of the graduate student Spirit of Brock medal for the Faculty of Humanities